HOT: Grateful and Well-Paid
The five 50th-anniversary/farewell concerts by the surviving members of The Grateful Dead (and that dude from Phish) in late June/early July turned out to be quite lucrative. The “Fare Thee Well” shows (in Santa Clara, Calif., and Chicago) made over $50 million in ticket sales. The pay-per-view broadcasts of the shows also did very well, reportedly setting a PPV record for a musical event with more than 400,000 purchases (via the Internet, and satellite and cable broadcasts). Fellow musical greats Backstreet Boys reportedly held the previous record with a lowly 160,000 buys back in 1999.
WARM: What’s in a “Doobie”?
Cover groups sometimes come up with some pretty great band names. My current favorite Cincinnati cover band name is the ’70s-focused Gee Your Band Smells Terrific (for those under 40, that’s a reference to popular ’70s shampoo Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific). But a current lawsuit over a particularly good cover-band moniker might have an impact on future creative naming. San Francisco’s Doobie Decibel System — which has covered The Beatles, Buffalo Springfield and Pink Floyd — is reportedly being sued by classic-rockers The Doobie Brothers (who DDS does not appear to cover). The Doobies, who reportedly have trademarked “doobies” (for those under 40, that was slang for marijuana cigarettes) for musical performances, want punitive damages and an injunction preventing the musicians (who are acclaimed for work with other artists) from using “Doobie” in their group’s name, citing, in part, “unfair competition.”
COLD: Mischief (Hologram) Keef
We here at Minimum Gauge™ headquarters love a good musical hologram story, and the most recent one may be our favorite yet (all respect to OG Hologram Tupac!). Hip Hop star Chief Keef planned to perform at a benefit concert in Chicago for the families of a toddler and friend who were recently shot and killed, but city officials (including the mayor) forced the show to be canceled for “public safety” reasons. The catch? Keef was only to appear via … hologram! Hologram Keef could find any Chicagoland area venue to host the show, so he appeared at a nearby Hammond, Ind. Hip Hop festival instead, with organizers requesting donations for the cause. But after Hologram Keef did one song (Real Keef performed live from a soundstage in Beverly Hills, Calif.), the power was cut and police rushed the stage and ordered the audience to leave. Hopefully the cops were able to cuff Hologram Keef and make him pay for his cyber disobedience. Can this story get weirder? Yes.